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December 21, 1984 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, December 21, 1984

THE ARTS

NATIONAL DRY GOODS
1200 Trumbull
961-3656

Samuel Lewis' criticism

Continued from Page 28

Its former editor, Jess Gorkin,
wrote a relatively tame article
entitled "What America Must Do
— Can We Bring Peace to the
Middle East?" He does not come
up with any real answers but con-
cludes with a quote from Eban.
Gorkin said that Eban, currently
chairman of the Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee,
"perhaps summed it up best"
when during an interview he
spoke "in a moment of great can-
dor." Asked whether he wasn't
happy with the enormous support
Israel has received from the
United States, Eban replied:
"In a way, we Israelis ought to
be absolutely grateful. America
has given us all the money and
weapons and diplomatic support
we could ever hope for. Yet, to be
frank, I think you have to risk get-
ting us a bit angry at you. Henry
Kissinger and Jimmy Carter
made us angry, but, as you re-
member, they also brought us
peace with Egypt . . . The new
American Administration is
going to have to push us a bit more
to finish this peace process. That
is the greatest gift you Americans
can still give to us — to all the
people in this war-weary area."
Eban later told the Jerusalem
Post that he had misquoted one
key word. Instead of using the

41H11.

word "push," Eban said the Ad-
ministration was going to have to
"help" Israel.
Still, coming just as the Reagan
Administration is in the process of
finalizing economic and military
aid figures for Israel in next year's
budget, Eban's widely discussed
comment was sharply criticized
by Israeli diplomats and Ameri-
can Jewish lobbyists who have
been anxiously trying to increase
the forthcoming levels. As a re-
sult, perhaps unfairly, they also
revived talk of Eban as Frankel's
original source. •
Speaking of aid, Israel's critics
in Washington are trying to
undermine U.S. support by
strongly focusing on the expected
large increases for Israel at a time
of budget cutting on many domes-
tic American programs.
When Prime Minister Shimon
Peres was in Washington in Oc-
tober, he anticipated that the
hefty aid levels for Israel could
pose some serious public relations
problems at a time of budget cut-
ting in the United States. He
therefore repeatedly stuck to the
theme that aid to Israel is but a
tiny percentage of the U.S. tax-
payer funds required to support
America's NATO allies in West-
ern Europe. and-Japan. (This was
a point originally made two years

ago by Republican Senator Rudy
Boschwitz of Minnesota in an
interview with me.)
Peres said that those NATO
figures — contained as part of the
U.S. Defense Department's over-
all budget — were more than $100
billion.
In recent years, several U.S.
lawmakers, including Republican
Congressman Jack Kemp of New
York, have recognized the prob-
lem. They have suggested that the
military aid to Israel be taken
from the worldwide foreign aid
legislation and moved to the Pen-
tagon's budget. This would under-
line their contention that aid to
Israel was an investment in
America's own national defense
since a militarily strong Israel is
an important strategic asset for
the United States.
But State Department officials
have always dreaded any such no-
tion, aware that without Israel in
the generally unpopular foreign
aid program, there would prob-
ably not be any legislation at all.
Israel has been the major reason
why so many Senators and Con-
gressmen vote for the bill every-
year. The Pentagon has also not
been thrilled by that prospect
since officials there fear it could
result in less funds for the U.S.
military.

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